Inquests

Peter has immense experience in inquests and coronial law, having spent over 20 years representing coroners and interested persons, from bereaved families to government departments, including the MOJ and the MOD.

He has undertaken many complex and high-profile inquests involving unlawful killing, national security, detention and medical or psychiatric treatment. Several of these cases have involved hearings in the High Court, Divisional Court and Court of Appeal.

Peter is presently counsel for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner in the inquests into the deaths of the victims of serial killer Stephen Port. Between 2016 and 2019 he was counsel to the inquests into the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings and the sudden death of the Russian businessman Alexander Perepilichnyy.

Peter has a particular interest in inquests that engage the state’s responsibilities under Article 2 of the ECHR, ‘the right to life’. In 2014 and 2015, he was invited by the Chief Coroner to provide a series of lectures on this subject to the coroners of England and Wales.

“He’s very bright, effective and has a very nice, laid-back manner in court.” “He is a really superb public lawyer.”  (Chambers & Partners 2019)

‘He can plot the way through complex issues and his knowledge of coronial law is superb.’ (Legal 500 2018)

“A confident advocate and good communicator.” (Legal 500 2017)

“He comes up with novel ideas, provides a realistic and sensible evaluation of cases and deals with difficult clients well. He just navigates the course through.” “Great on his feet, thinks quickly, sharp as a razor and very articulate.” (Chambers & Partners 2017)

“Simply excellent.” (Legal 500 2016)

Selected Cases

  • Stephen Port Inquests.
  • Birmingham Inquests (1974)
  • Coroner for Birmingham Inquests (1974) v Hambleton [2018] EWCA Civ 2081.
  • Alexander Perepilichnyy Inquest
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department v HM Senior Coroner for Surrey [2017] EWHC 3001 (Admin), [2017] 4 WLR 191.
  • Alice Gross Inquest.
  • Brecon Beacons Inquest.
  • In Amenas Inquest.
  • Coagh Inquest (Northern Ireland).
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